Endless Loop: An Ending (Ascent)

brianenoHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“An Ending (Ascent)” by Brian Eno

Brian Eno’s “An Ending (Ascent),” from 1983’s Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks, is easily one of my favorite pieces of music of all time, probably top five even.  It’s just so wonderfully moving, a haunting and beautiful instrumental that could score just about any moment in time, from bittersweet elation to quiet despair.  It can bring tears just sounding as it does without any discernable context whatsoever, just the notes, the melody, the sound.  And I love it for that.  That feeling is about as close to god as I’m ever likely to feel.

The Joup Friday Album: Emerald Web – Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales

emeraldwebThe first sound we hear on experimental New Age duo Emerald Web’s 1979 album, Dragon Wings and Wizard Tales, is a whimsical flute floating in the breeze, like some errant minstrel passing by in the forest, inadvertently heralding the arrival of something far grander than he.  It sets the stage wonderfully.

The Joup Friday Album: The Parasites of The Western World

parasitesA common descriptor that’s often used for music that’s different, or strange, or complex, or lost and forgotten is that it’s ahead of its time, artists creating songs that are so far in front of the game that it’s like they shouldn’t even exist just yet.  And that’s a nice sentiment I suppose.  There’s certainly a touch of endearment in those words, an implication that the art was just so visionary and amazing, that the world simply wasn’t ready for it yet.  But the other implication, and the one that is much more easily measurable, is that it just didn’t sell.  It didn’t make the artists that created it any money, which in turn usually led to shorter careers, smaller outputs, and quainter discographies, these inspired audio tomes lost to time only to end up in some jackass’s record collection and to be written about on some website’s music column.